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FBI Blames North Korean Hackers for $41 Million Heist

FBI says North Korean hacking group Lazarus has stolen $41 million in cryptocurrency from online betting platform

The FBI says that the North Korea-linked hacking group Lazarus is responsible for the theft of $41 million in cryptocurrency from online casino and betting platform

The incident occurred on September 4, when the Australian-Curaçaoan online platform announced that hackers had stolen funds from its Ethereum (ETH) and Binance Smart Chain (BSC) hot wallets.

The hackers, cryptocurrency security researcher ZachXBT discovered by tracking the transactions, stole roughly $15.7 million in Ethereum and another $25.6 million in BSC and Polygon.

Shortly after the heist, ZachXBT suggested that North Korea’s Lazarus might be responsible for the attack, and the FBI has confirmed it.

“The FBI investigation has revealed that DPRK cyber actors moved stolen funds associated with the Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain (BSC), and Polygon networks from,” the agency said last week.

The FBI has published a list of virtual currency addresses associated with Lazarus’ activity and encourages organizations to avoid engaging in transactions with them.

The FBI’s warning comes less than two months after GitHub exposed a North Korea-linked social engineering campaign targeting accounts linked to the blockchain, cryptocurrency, and online gambling sectors.

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Over the past several years, Lazarus has been blamed for numerous high-profile cyber-heists, starting with the $81 million theft from Bangladesh’s account at the New York Federal Reserve Bank, in 2016.

Deemed a serious threat to banks in 2017, Lazarus shifted focus to cryptocurrency exchanges in 2018, and is said to have continued to conduct attacks against organizations in this sector, to generate funds for the North Korean regime.

According to the FBI, this year alone, the North Korean state-sponsored group has stolen more than $200 million in virtual currency.

In July, Lazarus drained $60 million in cryptocurrency from Alphapo and another $37 million from CoinsPaid in July. In June, the hackers stole $100 million from Atomic Wallet. Lazarus is also blamed for a $100 million Horizon bridge crypto heist.

Related: FBI Finds 1,580 Bitcoin in Crypto Wallets Linked to North Korean Hackers

Related: UN Experts: North Korean Hackers Stole Record Virtual Assets

Written By

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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